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One City One Story

ocos1Each year, the Boston Book Festival makes a short story available to all, free of charge, to spread the joy of reading for pleasure among the teens and adults of our city. This year’s short story is “Home Movie” written by Jennifer De Leon. This story, focusing on a Guatemalan wife and husband living in Boston with their children, explores themes of immigration, home, and memory.

Copies of “Home Movie” are available for free at the Wheelock College Library. Digital copies, as well as Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Mandarin translations are available at the One City One Story website. Join one of the discussions that are happening at several Boston Public Library locations or organize your own! The website has some great questions to help you get the conversation started.

For more information about this year’s One City One Story selection, author, events, and the Boston Book Festival happening on October 24th, visit the Boston Book festival website at


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A Shared Mission at the Service Desk

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to co-supervise the Library’s Public Services Assistants and Student Library Assistants who work at the Service Desk.

Not only do I have the chance to get to know these employees and help them foster their professional skills, but I also get the chance to be inspired by their strong work ethic and commitment to service.

Group photo of staff participating in Training Day.

Group photo of staff participating in Training Day.

This was very apparent on Saturday September 12, which was the date of the Library’s annual Training Day. During a day filled with exercises designed to hone customer service skills, to build camaraderie, and to learn more about Peer Tutoring and the Writing Center, Public Services Assistants and Student Library Assistants were asked to come up with a mission statement to guide the work that they do.

After some discussion, Service Desk Staff came up with the following mission statement:

“Our mission at the Wheelock College Library is to provide patrons with the best customer service in a respectful and positive way. We connect patrons to the resources, information, and services they need to succeed at Wheelock. We create and maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.”

I wanted to share this statement with the community, because it truly represents everything that the Library’s staff members strive to do on a daily basis. And most importantly, this is something that Service Desk Staff have chosen to articulate as their shared mission.

I could not be more proud of this shared mission and look forward to working closely with Service Desk Staff to achieve it each and every day.

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A New and Improved Access Policy

There has sometimes been confusion about accessing the Library building at the end of the evening. In White_AppleWatch_with_Screenorder to clarify and simplify our practices and make them more consistent throughout the semester, Library staff, along with Public Safety and Facilities staff, explored alternatives that we hoped students would find more satisfactory. We have settled on a new policy that we believe balances both security and ease of access.

Starting September 2nd, when the Library resumes normal operating hours, Library doors will lock one hour prior to closing, but students will be able to tap their Wheelock IDs to gain entry until closing time. While we still recommend that you give yourself at least 10 minutes to print and will still require everyone to vacate the building at closing time, this new practice guarantees students will have use of the building up until that time.

Further, while we will make every effort to make this change seamless, if you encounter any issues please follow the signage posted on the door directing you to call the Service Desk (617-879-2220) or Public Safety (617-879-2151) from your cellphone or the campus phone provided at the door. You can also email me at with any questions, concerns, or complaints.

tl;dr: If you need to access the Library one hour before closing, you will need to tap your Wheelock ID to gain entry and follow the instructions posted on the door if you encounter any issues.

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Paperback cover image of Adichie's novel Americanah

Americanah and the Disruption of a Single Story

In her TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story,” author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says, “the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” The brilliance of her novel Americanah lies in its defiance of the single story. Through her protagonist Ifemelu, Adichie tells an untold story. It is a story about Nigeria; about immigration; about race; about gender; about coming of age; and it challenges the unconscious stereotypes planted in our minds by the stories we have been told again and again.

Americanah disrupts the single story by adding a new voice to the story we all know by heart (the one that incites well-meaning but demeaning pity for Africans, or that encourages “colorblindness” to race in America); but one novel alone won’t eradicate the single story. We must instead seek what author Chinua Achebe calls “a balance of stories.” The best way to achieve balance is to read widely. Read books about characters that live in places and times remote from your own experience. Read about current events and issues in an alternative source. Then listen; listen to the stories told by your friends, classmates, students, clients, and mentors. Listen carefully and you will find a great variety of humanness existing all around you. Finally, tell your own story. Avoid the story that has been told about you, the one that reinforces whatever stereotypes touch your life. Tell your story. Tell it through conversations, writing, performing, and service. Tell your story every day, even as it evolves.

College provides one of the best opportunities to seek a balance of stories; here’s to all the untold stories we will tell together.

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Photo of Taylor

Introducing Taylor Kalloch


Photo of Taylor

Name: Taylor Kalloch

Job title: Archives Associate

Location in Library: Lower Level (My door is right next to the vending machines, outside of the small computer lab).

Tell us what you do in 50 words or less: 
I collect, organize, preserve, and store archival materials related to the history of Wheelock College. Another major part of my job involves making materials accessible to the Wheelock community and beyond, by describing the materials, answering reference inquiries, and working with researchers who are interested in using the collection.

Choose one service that your department provides that you most want the Wheelock community to be aware of:
Working with primary sources and doing archival research can be daunting, especially when it is a new experience. I want the Wheelock community to know that archivists don’t just collect and protect the historical records; they also help connect researchers with collections and guide the researcher through the entire process.

What is a typical work day like for you? 
Every day is a little different depending on reference inquires, researchers, and what projects I have going on. But in general while the materials in the archives are from the past, the archivist’s job is to be constantly planning for the future. In this vein I spend a good amount of time each day looking forward by answering questions such as: How can we improve how our collections are stored and preserved? How can I describe the collections to ensure they will remain accessible for years to come? What materials do we need to collect now in order to provide a full and balanced picture of Wheelock College for those who are interested in 50 or 100 years from now?

What is your favorite website? 
I can’t say I have a favorite website but here are two that I frequent often:
King Arthur Flour Recipes

What is your favorite book in the Wheelock Library collection?
I like books entirely too much to have just one favorite so here are a few that commonly make the top of my favorites list:
The entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (Never read the series? Start HERE.)
Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel
The Encyclopedia of New England: The Culture and History of an American Region edited by Burt Feintuch and David H. Watters
No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women by Estelle B. Freedman

When I’m not at work, you can find me… baking, cooking, reading, crafting, exercising, making as many trips back to Maine as possible, watching re-runs of TV classics such as M*A*S*H, and relaxing with my three cats.

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